Three students from Clatskanie, Scappoose, and Vernonia School Districts will represent Columbia County at the state competition after winning the Columbia County Spelling Contest held by the Northwest Regional Education Service District on May 16.

The first-place winners from each division will represent Columbia County at the state spelling competition at the Oregon State Fair on August 31.

The County Spelling Bee, proctored by David Cook, posed 25 words to students in each of the three divisions, as well as five tie-breaker words. Winners were determined by the amount of words they had written correctly.

Each of the five Columbia County school districts sent their top two district spelling bee winners in each of the three grade divisions: Division 1 for first through fifth grades; Division 2 for sixth through eighth grades; and Division 3 for ninth through 12th grades. They faced winners from school districts in Clatskanie, Scappoose, St. Helens, Rainier, and Vernonia.

Competing in Division 1 were Kelby Evenson and Taka Wiggins from Clatskanie; Caden Wallace and Oliver Cassel from Rainier; Stetson Taylor and Koa Leininger from Vernonia; Parker Humbird and Nathaniel Johanek from St. Helens; and Marion Nelson and Ryleigh Layton from Scappoose.

In Division 1, Evenson took first place, Johanek took second, and Layton was third.

In Division 2 were Skylar Phillips and Jordan Jacob from Rainier; Bowen Cottini and Zebadiah Burklund from Vernonia; Elora Barber and Whitney Garrison from St. Helens and Berlynn Brodala and Dakota Cearley from Scappoose.

In Division 2, Cottini took first place, Jacob took second, and Barber was third.

Division 3 was a bit smaller with five competitors: Diego Blanco from Clatskanie; Joseph Maiden and Steven Bombenek from Rainier; and Allison Wills and Jade Garvin from Scappoose.

In Division 3, Blanco took first place, Garvin took second, and Wills and Bombenek tied for third.

If the first-place winners are unable to attend the state competition, the second place spellers will be invited to attend in their place.

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